Ontario tenant hit with $350-a-month rent hike calls for more transparency in lease agreements

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Ontario tenant hit with $350-a-month rent hike calls for more transparency in lease agreements

#1 Unread post by LindaH » May 15th, 2023, 4:28 am

Hit with a surprise $350-a-month rent hike for her St. Catharines, Ont., home, Kara Petrunick says she'd never have signed the lease had she known the 17.5 per cent increase was allowed.

"It's a slap in the face," said Petrunick.

The naturopathic doctor said she rented the new, spacious three-bedroom townhouse at 177 Russell Ave. in 2021 for $2,000 a month, at the higher end of the rental market, but close to work and family.

Petrunick, 36, signed a lease that included an information brochure from the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) outlining both parties' rights and responsibilities, as seen by CBC Hamilton.

Ontario requires landlords to provide the brochure to tenants before the tenancy begins, as stated at the top of the document.

But in retrospect, Petrunick said the LTB brochure is "sneakily written" and left her under the false impression her unit was rent controlled.

Brochure not a 'comprehensive summary': LTB
The brochure says landlords have the right to increase rent but typically "only once a year by the guideline that is set by the Ontario Government."

That means in 2023, for example, landlords can increase rent only by 2.5 per cent. Anything higher and they'd have to make their case and get approval from the LTB.

However, despite listing some exceptions, the brochure makes no mention that for homes occupied for the first time after Nov. 15, 2018, such as newer builds like Petrunick's townhouse, landlords can increase rent by any amount.

Premier Doug Ford's government scrapped rent control for newly-built or newly-converted rental units shortly after taking office in 2018. It was pitched as a way to encourage developers to construct purpose-built rentals.

"It feels like [landlords] are taking advantage of the system to make more profit," Petrunick said. "If you're going to build more housing at these prices, it's not sustainable for anybody."

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton ... -1.6841353
Last edited by LindaH on May 15th, 2023, 4:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: LTB brochure is "sneakily" written - Ontario tenant hit with $350/month rent hike

#2 Unread post by danmac » May 15th, 2023, 4:34 am

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